Silver Reef, UT
— 1879 —
St. John's Church
After his 1877 visit to Silver Reef, Father Scanlan appointed Father Dennis Kiely as the local pastor. The increasing Catholic population continued to ask for a church. Father Scanlan returned in November 1878 to accomplish this objective. The money was collected and the church completed in the spring of 1879 at the cost of $2,372.14. Father Henry T. Hyde was pastor in 1880; Father P. O'Connor, in 1881; and Father P. Galligan, in 1882.
The church had no tower when it was finished. Father Hyde began to collect money and eventually the tower was built and a four-hundred-pound bell installed.
St. Mary's School was opened in the Church on September 1, 1879, by Sisters of the Holy Cross from St. Mary's, Indiana. Mormon children also attended this school and took the music lessons offered.
St. John's Hospital was built in 1879 at the request of the miners. It was financed in part by the employees of the mines and mills at Silver Reed, each paying a dollar a month. This amounted to $200.00 a month, and with other monies collected, the hospital was completed at a cost of $2,149.07 and opened in September, 1879. It was a two-story structure with living quarters on the ground floor for the sisters assigned to work and teach at Silver Reef. Sisters who served at St. John's were: Sister Mary Beniti Bryson, Sister Mary Anicetus Crowe, Sister Mary Leonard Forrestal, Sister Mary Constance Hayes, Sister Mary Regis Kelly, Sister Mary Eleutherius Monclair, Sister Mary Bernard O'Neill, Sister Mary Euphrosine Pepin, and Sister Mary Febronia Ward.
After the great fire in 1879 and other fires in 1881, along with the declining prices in silver, and the threats of strikes in the mines, the closing of several mines led to the abandonment of Silver Reef. St. John's was closed in 1883.
Sometime after 1888 the church building was purchased and moved by Pappy Stirling to the grounds next to his home in Leeds, Utah. It was used for dances and other social gatherings. The lumber from the hospital was sold to Robert C. Lund for his new home in St. George, Utah.
Bishop Lawrence J. Scanlan
1843 - 1915
Father Lawrence J. Scanlan was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, on October 3, 1843. He attended All Hallows College in Dublin, Ireland and was ordained a priest on June 2, 1868, for the Dioceses of San Francisco. Instead of crossing the continent by team or train, he traveled to California by way of Panama, walking across the Isthmus to get the boat at Panama City sailing north. After serving in several places, he was assigned to Pioche, Nevada, where he ministered to the miners from March 16, 1869 to about 1875, when he was finally sent to Salt Lake City, Utah.
In 1875 a silver strike was made at Silver Reed. Father Scanlan went to Silver Reef in 1877 and was greeted by many of his former parishioners from Pioche. He returned in November of 1878 to build St. John's Church which was completed in the Spring of 1879.
Father Scanlan returned to Salt Lake City in 1879, where he was appointed Vicar Bishop of the Dioceses of Salt Lake City in 1886. Bishop Scanlan died May 10, 1915, in Salt Lake City.